Court orders SBS to encode for PPM


Arbitron announced late Thursday that a state court in New York has ordered Spanish Broadcasting System to resume encoding for the Portable People Meter (PPM) system in the New York Metro and four other markets across the country. Arbitron claims that it has contracts in place which require the SBS stations to encode for PPM.

Arbitron said a judge of the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the County of New York, which is Manhattan, issued a temporary restraining order (TRO), effective immediately, which requires SBS to resume encoding its broadcasting signals for PPM until the court holds a hearing on Tuesday, February 16th. Despite the name, a Supreme Court in New York is a trial level court.

Arbitron also said it suspended delivery of PPM data to SBS in December 2009. The ratings company said it sought the TRO after learning on February 4th that SBS had ceased encoding its broadcast signals for the PPM service in any of its radio properties in cities where Arbitron has commercialized the PPM ratings service.

“SBS has existing contracts with Arbitron for both the PPM service and to encode its broadcast signals that remain in effect. We expect SBS to honor the terms of its agreements” said Arbitron Chief Legal Officer Timothy T. Smith.

There was no immediate comment from SBS on the litigation.